17/12: Pakistan is China's Most Favourite Neighbour

I just finished reading an online news report about a survey conducted by International Herald Leader, which is published by China's Xinhua News Agency. I have read their news web site occasionally in the past for updates about JF17 related news.

Image (c) BBC

The contents of the article are:

Chinese people like South Korea the least of all of their neighbors, according to the results of a survey released Monday. It is unusual for South Korea to rank ahead of Japan as China's most unpopular neighbor.

In the survey of 12,000 Chinese people over the past four months by the International Herald Leader, a newspaper published by China's official Xinhua News Agency, 40.1 percent of respondents said they dislike South Korea the most. Japan came in second place with 30.2 percent of the vote. The most-liked neighbor was Pakistan with 13.2 percent followed by Russia and Japan, the newspaper said.

In September, market researcher Millward Brown surveyed 1,000 Korean adults on their favorite neighboring country. The majority -- 60.8 percent -- said the U.S. China ranked second with 44.0 percent followed by Russia with 41.4 percent and Japan with 35.6 percent.


It goes without saying that amongst our own neighbours, China is the most favoured one since we share common ties of friendship which have lasted more than half a century and which nothing has been able to shake despite efforts by some parties to the contrary. We share a vision of stability in this politically troubled region. China's help to the Pakistani people in our times of need is deeply appreciated. We have cooperated with each other on issues ranging from international diplomacy to weapons manufacturing to nuclear reactors currently installed in nuclear power plants in Pakistan.

If we look at the pages of history, Pakistan was the first Muslim country to recognize China in 1950. Diplomatic relations were established the very next year. Since then, the Pakistani and Chinese people have supported each other through times of war and peace. Our help to each other comes without any strings attached to it which constitutes genuine respect for the sovereignty of the other. This aspect of our relationship has always been appreciated.

I end this post with a simple slogan which on the face of it might look plain and simple but holds deep meaning for people on both sides of the border:

Pak China friendship

Long live Pakistan-China friendship!

16/12: Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way - The Hijab Dilemma

The issue of hijab riles many people and is considered an oppression by some. A news report recently came to my attention which provides yet more credence to the fact that the issue is not so much about it being unfair on the wearer than the society just being hesitant to adopt a change and accept it. This paranoia can be detrimental to a society and the values it adheres to.

The news item is titled "More Muslim girls wear scarf in games". Miss Dewnya Bakri should be an inspiration for other Muslim girls and women who hesitate to wear hijab due to taunts and questions about it asked of them. She proves that where there is a will, there is a way for young Muslim women to be an active part of the society while not leaving their religious obligations at the side.

Hijab - courtesy Wikimedia, modified by myself

No one can force a Muslim women to wear a hijab, but if it is indeed her choice to wear it, no one can stop her since it is her right except where it may cause her or those around her any harm. Considering the controversy of banning the hijab in some European countries and a few women losing their jobs in Britain, unless all religious items are banned (which would include crosses, the skull cap for both Muslim and Jewish men (Kippah)) it is discrimination if only Muslim women who want to wear hijab are stopped from doing so solely on the basis of other people feeling intimidated.

In doing so, we ignore the wisdom of hijab. It covers the head and bosom of a woman. One may wonder exactly what function this serves. It basically enables a woman to be judged on the basis of her qualities other than her physical attributes which certain men seem so fond of doing. Let's face it, not all women are blonde hotties (as the term goes - no offence intended to blonde women). What are women, who lack the impressively dimensioned physical attributes to do while the others get all the attention? When we bring in the prevalent insecurity in women about how they look and what people think of them, this becomes all the more of a serious concern. Ultimately, a woman becomes an object rather than her own person who is intelligent, clever, witty and charming. Would a woman really want to be treated as an object rather than her own person?

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